Saturday, May 19, 2007

Newgrange Tombs

I took a bus out to Newgrange to go see the "Newgrange Tombs"

Got to see more of the Ireland countryside, which is truly beautiful to look at

This tomb was built in 3200 BC.......seeing this monument (even older than the pyramids!) was quite a humbling experience

The entrance of the tomb, which was designed to flood with sunlight each morning for about twenty minutes during the winter and the summer solstices

The entrance stone with spiral engravings - crazy to think that these were carved out 5000 years ago

Coming through the entrance - coming down this long, very small passage way is not for the claustrophobic. Notice the sunbox just below the quartz - this lets the sunlight in during the solstice

Inside of the tomb, similar carvings on the wall

These stone basins are where the ashes of the dead would sit: when the sunlight came through during the solstice a theory suggests a belief that the sunlight would take the souls of the dead away......if this is true it's the first recorded instance of human belief in the after life

The spiral, stone-stacked ceiling of the tomb.......rain has not come through this ceiling in over 5000 years: the exhibition of trigonometry, astronomy, and engineering in this tomb is amazing. I wonder if they looked, felt and thought just like us?

The original foundation of another, long sinced destroyed tomb

More shots of the beautiful countryside - damn that's a lot of sheep

The Boine River, which sits just about 1000 yards from the tomb

I also stopped by the ruins of a monastery from the 8th century AD

An incredible celtic cross: monks had carved out scenes from both the old & new testament on these crosses in order to educate the pagan population

This will be my last post for a while - this whole thing has been an amazing experience, one I will not soon forget

No comments: